Compare Tofranil vs. Celexa

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tofranil
(imipramine hydrochloride)

Celexa
(citalopram)

Improves your mood and stops bedwetting in children. Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is one of the first choice medicines used to treat depression, but it can cause weight gain and sleepiness.Improves mood and helps you relax. Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Celexa
61%
-61% worse vs. Tofranil
51%
-51% worse vs. Tofranil
16%
+16% better vs. Tofranil
520 reviews
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TofranilCelexa

The Tofranil FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Tofranil side effects »
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry Mouth 6%
  • Somnolence 8%
  • Insomnia 1%
  • Sweating Increased 2%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Ejaculation Disorder 5%
  • Rhinitis 1%
  • Dyspepsia 1%
More Celexa side effects »
How it works
TofranilCelexa
Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It raises the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, 2 chemicals that are known to regulate mood. It's not known exactly how Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) treats bedwetting.Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
TofranilCelexa
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
TofranilCelexa
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
TofranilCelexa
Risk factors for serious side effects
TofranilCelexa
  • Under age 24
  • History of heart disease
  • Overactive thyroid
  • High blood pressure
  • History of seizures
Detailed Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly
Detailed Celexa (citalopram) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
TofranilCelexa
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
No alcohol related info.
Food
TofranilCelexa
No food related info.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
TofranilCelexa
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
Sex
TofranilCelexa
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
TofranilCelexa
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can make you feel sleepy, so don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
No sleep related info.
Weight
TofranilCelexa
  • Compared to other medicines for depression, Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can make you more likely to gain weight and have changes in blood sugar. If you have diabetes, your doctor might need to change the doses of your medications to make sure your blood sugar stays controlled. Talk to your doctor to see if you should take another medicine besides Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
Upsides and benefits
TofranilCelexa
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is part of the first choice of medicines used to treat depression.
  • Available in generic.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is usually taken only once a day.
  • Available in 3 different strengths.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Causes less sleepiness compared to other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
TofranilCelexa
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can lower your sex drive and cause more weight gain than other similar medicines for depression.
  • You might be more sensitive to the sun and have a higher risk for heat stroke while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • If you have a history of heart conditions, your symptoms might get worse with Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride). Talk to your doctor to see if Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is right for you.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (40 mg a day, or more).
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24 years.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
TofranilCelexa
  • You might need to take Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) for a few weeks before you notice any changes in your mood.
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • If you miss your bedtime dose, skip it and take your regular dose the next evening. Don't take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
  • You might be more sensitive to the sun while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride). Make sure to drink plenty of liquids, wear sunscreen, or cover your skin if you'll be out in the sun.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can make you feel sleepy, so don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) without talking to your doctor first.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about TofranilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride)?
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More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it